Just last week—extremely personal to all of us at CDF because a beloved colleague was among those in lockdown in the Navy Yard’s tragedy—a man with mental illness wielding a sawed-off shotgun killed 12 people and injured eight before being killed himself in our nation’s capital.

And there was the news of a mass shooting attack at a pick-up basketball game at a Chicago park that injured 13 people, including a 3-year-old boy who was left in critical condition.

What is it going to take for us to stand up and say enough to this internal gun war of American against American? What is it going to take to create a mental health system that prevents such tragedies from happening over and over? What is it going to take for us to pass and enforce adequate gun safety laws? What is it going to take to love and protect human life, especially children more than guns? Is the doctor right that this is not America? Or is she calling for the America we must create together with urgency and persistence?

(Marian Wright Edelman is president of the Children’s Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to www.childrensdefense.org.)


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